Ask any number of football fans who the best team in Europe is and the chances are that the majority would say Bayern Munich.
Ask the same number which team they like the best in Europe and the likelihood is that Bayern Munich -the self-styled FC Hollywood - will not come up trumps.
Ask the same two questions in Germany and you will soon be initiated to the fact that despite Bayern having established an unquestionable supremacy in world football, Bayern are no longer the Hollywood sweethearts of the Bundesliga. So how did a team like Bayern manage to gain such phenomenal success in recent years but fail to amass any affection from anyone other than their own fans?
The answer is simple. Bayern's supremacy is stifling and not because of the ease with which they turn over opposing teams through a devastating combination of mesmerizing speed and tiki-taka style football. Bayern are crippling the rest of the Bundesliga because the subsequent wealth which they have garnered from their success.
Every season Bayern get stronger because they are able to buy up the best talent from rival teams to reinforce their already domineering contingent. For an example of this look no further than their last high profile signing - Mario Gotze.
During the summer, Bayern signed Gotze for a reported £32 million from Borussia Dortmund - a team who were arguably matching Bayern Munich's on-field prowess having pushed Bayern in the league and in two notable finals last season. Fast forward to this year and Dortmund are not even close to matching last year's laudable feat.
Another aspect of Bayern which may irk the rest of the Bundesliga faithful is the impenetrable arrogance of some of their players.
Take Thomas Muller’s assertion during an interview before Bayern’s 5-1 demolition of the beleaguered Schalke. Muller quipped: "I don't think anybody really expects us to lose [enough of the remaining fixtures], particularly considering we have not lost any of the 23 beforehand”.
Although Muller made a valid point it is one which a player who had enough grace to be an admirable champion would not make.. However, Muller and his peers do not seem to care and seem to have unwittingly adopted Millwall FC’s infamous but apt chant “No one likes us, we don't care”.
Bayern may not care that they are not well liked because they are revered for their unquestionable footballing supremacy but it comes at too great a cost for the rest of the Bundesliga not to care.
If Bayern continue to dominate the Bundesliga as they currently are the standard of the league will begin to falter in much the same way as the Scottish Premier League has in recent years - with the gap between the top team and the bottom team being too vast to merit considerable interest from those other than their own fans.
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